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The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Implied in the Image of the Paschal Lamb in 1 Cor 5:7

An Intertextual, Exegetical and Theological Study


Jacob Paxy Alumkal

St. Paul uses the image of Paschal Lamb only once. What is the real meaning of this symbol in his theology? It symbolises the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but with a different emphasis. What does he emphasize?
The aim of this study is to show the exegetical meaning of 1 Cor 5:7 in order to have an overt theological emphasis of the imagery used in this particular context. The linguistic analysis from a historical critical method is used here to arrive at its theological significance. The study propounds the meaning, reality and the significance of the Hebrew original Paschal celebration and its commemoration from Semetical, Hellenistical and Greco-Roman culture and as understood in the OT Scriptures of various periods. The result is quite different from the hitherto theological understanding of the symbol and its significance. Paul is the first NT theologian to use this symbol and others have followed him with varying degrees of understanding of this symbol. A comparative study on this is made in this book. It shows to what extent it is relevant for Christians in postmodern Europe and India.
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Chapter 1. Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Teachings of Paul


Chapter 1 Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Teachings of Paul


With regard to the centrality of Pauline theology there are differences of opinions6. But in this study we hold that the content or core of the Gospel7 that Paul preached is the eschatological work of God in Christ and its benefits especially to the Gentiles8. The “eschatological work of God in Christ” refers to the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1–4)9. This chapter attempts to focus on the theological nuances of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, especially from the undisputed letters of Paul10. Although there are different perspectives and possibilities available to study the concept of the death and resurrection and also our aim is to study the exegetical and theological meaning of the Passover symbolism of Paul, we concentrate on the definitive role played by God the Father and Jesus Christ in the event of the death and resurrection and its salvific effects on humanity. ← 25 | 26 →

1.1 Centrality of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ in Paul

The First Theologian of the New Testament who put in black and white the content of Christian faith is undoubtedly St. Paul11. Although he did not encounter Jesus during the time of his earthly ministry, (Gal. 1:11–17), he preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ12. According to J.D.G. Dunn, by “Gospel of Jesus Christ” Paul means the death...

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